Energy Efficiency

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 637–651 | Cite as

A library of building occupant behaviour models represented in a standardised schema

  • Zsofia Deme BelafiEmail author
  • Tianzhen Hong
  • Andras Reith
Original Article


Over the past four decades, a substantial body of literature has explored the impacts of occupant behaviour (OB) on building technologies, operation, and energy consumption. A large number of data-driven behavioural models have been developed based on field data. These models lack standardisation and consistency, leading to difficulties in applications and comparison. To address this problem, an ontology was developed using the drivers-needs-actions-systems (DNAS) framework. Recent work has been carried out to implement the theoretical DNAS framework into an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schema, titled ‘occupant behaviour XML’ (obXML) which is a practical implementation of OB models that can be integrated into building performance simulation (BPS) programs. This paper presents a newly developed library of OB models represented in the standardised obXML schema format. This library provides ready-to-use examples for BPS users to employ more accurate occupant representation in their energy models. The library, which contains an initial effort of 52 OB models, was made publicly available for the BPS community. As part of the library development process, limitations of the obXML schema were identified and addressed, and future improvements were proposed. Authors hope that by compiling this library building, energy modellers from all over the world can enhance their BPS models by integrating more accurate and robust OB patterns.


Occupant behaviour Building performance simulation XML schema obXML Occupant behaviour model 



This work is part of the research activities of the International Energy Agency, Energy in Buildings and Communities Program, Annex 66: Definition and Simulation of Occupant Behaviour in Buildings. We would like to express our gratitude to Yixing Chen of LBNL for providing valuable insights into the XML schema issues and to double-check quality of models in the library. Authors wish to acknowledge a Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher Award from the Fulbright Hungarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange which enabled scientific exchange between Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Funding information

This work was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231) under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center on Building Energy Efficiency. This project was supported financially by the Fulbright Hungarian-America Commission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pal Csonka Doctoral School, Faculty of ArchitectureBudapest University of Technology and EconomicsBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Building Technology and Urban Systems DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Advanced Building and Urban Design (ABUD)BudapestHungary

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